The glitz, the glamour, the amazing architecture, money and beautiful people. That was how I used to see this city I live in. NOW, as a mom, I describe it this way: Sex, drugs, gambling, sin, vices, sex, greed, keeping up with the Joneses and did I mention SEX? Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE the suburban areas that surround the Strip. The people I associate with are fantastic and have the same morals that I enjoy having my family around. It’s become our home.
But the problem lies within the 2 mile radius that ripples out from the Strip; the images you pray your child misses while you drive by it. However, my son doesn’t miss them…EVER. With his 4 year old self asking, “Mom, why did that girl not have any clothes on?” (TAO billboard also saying ‘Always a happy ending’ but that’s also the way fairy tales end so thankfully I won’t have to explain what that is.) My answer, “I think it was a billboard for a shower company. I think she was just getting in the shower.” “Oh. Why would they show her butt?” “Well, you have to get undressed to take a shower, right?” “Ya. It’s weird to put that on a big sign like that, huh mom?” “Yes, yes you’re right about that.” Now it is EVERY time we drive past it he has to throw out a comment about her taking a shower. Let it go, Roman. Let. It. Go.
As much as I’m worried about him and the vices that men get involved with, I’m more so concerned with how my daughter will internalize all that she sees in this town because of it’s focus on beauty and sex.
The sexy advertisements don’t just stop at the nightclubs. It’s also the strip clubs, pool clubs, day clubs, restaurants, clothing company and now the wonderful plastic surgery billboards advertising “Buy 1 implant, get 1 FREE!” As funny as that is to ME, not so funny when my children are in the car. “Tummy tuck, breast augmentation or butt implants? Pick your poison and look beautiful!” And the older she gets, the more she is able to read something and NOT ask me the WHYs like she used to, which allowed me to explain the things she would see. I want the questions still. That way I can lie through my teeth and tell her that the girls on the side of the truck that are 3/4 of the way naked and say “Hot Babes Direct To You!” is simply a traveling maid service and they’re dressed that way because sometimes they get hot while working so hard. What am I supposed to say? That they are damaged souls that sell themselves for money and do things that show they don’t respect their bodies. At what age is it appropriate to tell her THAT truth?
As much as I’m not quite ready to delve in to the sex topic, I’m pretty honest when it comes to smoking, gambling, drugs and drinking since you can’t go to the newest kid flick without walking past slot machines occupied by cardholders attached to the machines and a cigarette dangling out of their mouths with a beer in their free hand. My kids now know that gambling is an adult game where a lot of them use the money they just earned at their jobs to pay for the big casino. That concept is still confusing to me as well.
So because of this, Tom and I bounced around the idea of moving AGAIN, but due to several circumstances we are staying put. That leaves me with now trying to figure out some creative ways to keep their eyes occupied within that 2 mile radius of Las Vegas Boulevard or when we pull up behind a cab with a Crazy Girls advertisement on it showcasing 10 women’s backsides in g-strings and nothing else. Or as we approach a plastic surgery billboard, “CARISSA, HURRY! LOOK OUT ROMAN’S WINDOW!” “What is it?” “Oh, nevermind. I thought I saw a green elephant.” Whatever works, right?
**New invention: Children’s Blinders! Genius!**